You Need To Read This Article Before Buying A Condo in Singapore
Condo units in Singapore are one of the best properties to buy. Condo units come with amenities such as a pool, gym, conference rooms, lounge areas, and a breathtaking view of the Singapore skyline. Singapore is brimming with properties wherever you look. From small HDB units to luxurious penthouses and condo units, Singapore has it all.
The skyline of Singapore promises a lifestyle that everyone dreams of having that is why people all over the world choose to invest in the Singapore property market. Whether you are local to Singapore or someone planning to move to the country to settle or search for opportunities, this blog will give you an initial idea of how to buy a condo.
How to buy Condo in Singapore - 8 Things To Consider?
Buying a condo in Singapore is not an easy task but it is not rocket science either. Homebuyers would often feel overwhelmed when buying their very first property and that is normal. However, if you are equipped with the right knowledge and information and you have a trusted real estate agent working along with you, the process of buying a condo in Singapore will be an easy one. Take note of these #8 things we listed below:
1. Find out if the condo unit is freehold or leasehold
For first-time homebuyers, freehold & leasehold terms may not sound familiar. These terms are pretty much thrown around in the property market scene so experienced property investors and homebuyers already know what they mean. A leasehold property refers to a property that you can own for a certain period of years. The most common amount of time for leasehold properties is 99 years and up. Whereas, freehold properties are properties that you can own without a given period of time. It means you can own the property forever.
While a freehold property may sound like the best option, there are still pros and cons to it. They can be more expensive and they might not be located in significant business districts in the city. Deciding whether to go for freehold or leasehold will also depend on your preferences. If you are not planning to live in the city forever, a leasehold property might be a more practical option than a freehold one.
2. Make sure you have convenient access to the nearest transport lines
The second-most important thing to consider is the convenience of the unit. Locate the nearest transport lines of MRT lines in the city in and find out if your unit is within a walking distance of the station. Another advantage of a unit near commuting stations is that they will almost always be near business hubs and shopping malls.
3. What are the amenities in the building?
What makes condo units so attractive and popular (not just for ex-pats but also locals) is the amenities. Before buying a condo in Singapore, find out what amenities the building has and see if these amenities suit your lifestyle. Keep in mind that the more amenities a condominium building have, the more costly the maintenance fee is.
It might be nice to have all these amenities but also, think carefully about whether you are going to be able to use these amenities or not. Will they be a benefit to you? Or would these be just an additional cost to your monthly condo bills? If paying an additional fee for amenities that you won’t even use is not a problem for you, then go for it.
4. Check out the size of the unit
Viewing the property before buying is recommended especially if you are planning to live there for the long run. It is important to check whether the dimensions of the unit are similar to what was presented in the showrooms. Walking inside the unit will also give you as the buyer an initial impression of what it would be like when living there. Condo units are considered premium purchases. Therefore, as much as possible you should be meticulous with every detail.
5. Consider the advantages and disadvantages of the building’s orientation
Think about where you want your unit to be located in the building. If you want to have a wonderful view of the city’s skyline, purchasing a unit on the top floors would be great. However, these units can be quite pricey. If you are fine with not having a view of the city every morning when you wake up, consider units on the lower floors. These units are also near amenities like swimming pools, tennis courts, gyms, and others which is a good advantage if you use these amenities a lot.
6. Save up enough money for other costs that will come along the way once you bought the unit
Keep in mind that buying a condo unit comes with additional costs that don’t stop once you’ve paid for the unit in cash. There are monthly condo dues, maintenance costs, tax, parking fees, and other bills that come along when living in a condo property. Make sure that you can afford all these things before you purchase a condo unit.
7. Consider your personal preferences
Of course, think about your personal preferences too since you’ll be the one living in the unit. Do you want to have a view of the city every morning when you wake up? If yes, are you willing to compromise the cost? How many rooms do you want to have in your condo unit? What are the non-negotiable amenities for you? Allocate a time to think this through or sit down with your family who’s going to live with you in the unit and ask them about their preferences as well. Communication is key to purchasing the perfect condo unit that you and your family will love.
8. Set aside a budget for the 25% upfront fee
You need to pay 25% of the total price when buying a condo in Singapore. If you use your CPF Ordinary account, you can reduce that to 20% and pay the rest with your own money. Note that these percentages fluctuate depending on the status of the property market in Singapore.
After settling down the upfront fee, focus on getting a housing loan next to help you pay for the rest. Get Approval-In-Principle from the bank so you will know how much the bank is willing to lend you. This will give you an idea of how much money you need to allocate to purchase the condo unit completely.
The things we discussed above are, basically, the information that every first-time condo buyer should know. However, there are many things that we haven’t covered yet since buying a condo unit is a nitty-gritty process. This is why it is advisable to work with a professional real estate agent who knows exactly the steps to go through and will guide you from beginning to end to make buying a condo unit in Singapore a smooth experience for you.
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